SNAP benefits to go out early due to shutdown

With the government shutdown now in its fourth week, the state Department of Human Services is working to distribute February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funds earlier than normal.

According to a fact sheet provided by DHS, which administers the federally-funded program, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service is working with states to issue February’s benefits early.

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While benefits are typically dispersed in the first five days of the month, approved clients in Hawaii should receive their February benefits today instead.

Those who are currently approved and receiving benefits do not need to take any action, the fact sheet reads.

“If clients exhaust their February funds early, we cannot issue additional benefits,” it continues. “We encourage clients to budget accordingly as they’ll have two months worth of food dollars in their account this month.”

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“Our top priority continues to be providing our clients with uninterrupted benefits,” DHS spokeswoman Ke‘opu Reelitz said in an email. “We have been working closely with our federal partners and across the state to make sure we’re able to achieve this goal for the February disbursements.”

A recent USDA news release made no mention of funding beyond February should the shutdown continue.

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